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Pour Me a Grog: The Funaná Revolt in 1990s Cabo Verde

Ostinato Records presents an array of revolutionary musicians on the impassioned funaná compilation, Pour Me a Grog.


The Good Ones Share Love and Hope on 'Rwanda, You Should Be Loved'

Rwandan folk trio, the Good Ones fight harsh reality with a sense of love and hope for their third album, Rwanda, You Should Be Loved.


Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba's 'Miri' Is a Beautifully Unpredictable Work of Art

Bassekou Kouyate and band Ngoni Ba's unplugged new Malian folk music release Miri is anything but basic.


Michael Donkor Brings Forth the Power of Women in 'Housegirl'

Michael Donkor's Housegirl, a PopMatters' pick, is a strong debut novel about traditional changes and personal awakenings.


'Listen All Around: The Golden Age of Central and East African Music' Is a Worthy Primer for Any Adventurous Listener

During the musical explosion of the 1950s, ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey traversed Sub-Saharan Africa to record a breadth of songs across many styles. This compilation contains some of the best he came up with.


Hamad Kalkaba and the Golden Sounds: Hamad Kalkaba and the Golden Sounds 1974-1975

Soul, brass, and gandjal rhythms bring a new energy to the Analog Africa repertoire via Cameroonian funk rock band Hamad Kalkaba and the Golden Sounds.


From the Women of Dahomey to Black Panther's Women of Wakanda

Black Panther is more than just another Marvel blockbuster; it's a revelation in Western depictions of Africa and African women.


Ethnofiction and the Films of Jean Rouch

The African "dialogues" with Western culture, as twisted here to suit the purposes of those exposed to it, reflects the wider idea of "dialectics" between filmmakers and subjects.


A Film Journey into the Heart of Darkness: 'Return of the Ape Man' and 'The Vampire's Ghost'

These two '40s-era B films offer a contrast in style and intelligence.


You May Be Black or You May Be White But in Africa You're an American First

David Peterson del Mar explores a creation myth for a nation of black people still searching for personal and collective terra firma.


Tamikrest: Kidal

Desert struggles make for purposeful rock and roll on Tamikrest's latest album of Saharan desert blues.


Various Artists: Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta

Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta is a goldmine for musical history buffs and an excellent purchase for anyone in need of a little more African jazz.


Diasporic Memories of a Jewish Family

Strangers in a strange land has been the universal theme of the Jewish story. Roger Cohen's 'A Girl from Human Street' provides an emotional account of his family's diasporic journey.


Tinariwen: Emmaar

Pioneers of West African trance-rock release their best album in years.


Congo Horrors Reported Graphically for 'Army of God'

A difficult new work of nonfiction graphic journalism chronicles human rights atrocities in Central Africa.


Rhythm Del Mundo: Africa

Africa features an enjoyable collection of pop, rock and soul favorites remixed with African instrumental and vocal cues.


The Toll of Political Idealism: 'The Dream of the Celt'

This lightly fictionalized tale of the much maligned Sir Roger Casement prefigures our own guilty complicity with an unjust world order demand for ever-lower prices, ever-wider markets, and ever-greedier enterprises.


Amadou Diagne: Introducing Amadou Diagne

Senegalese griot needs to do more to stand out.


Kiran Ahluwalia: Common Ground

India, by way of Africa, by way of Europe. And it works.


Various Artists: Bambara Mystic Soul: The Raw Sound of Burkina Faso 1974-1979

Burkinabe music may align with sounds from other areas -- Nigeria, Benin, Dakar -- but this comp displays its unique mix of influences, making it stand out from other African musical traditions.


Various Artists: The Rough Guide to African Guitar Legends

The boundary for this compilation is huge, and surrounds all of Africa, a continent with more guitarists and guitar styles than anyone can easily count.


What a Wonderful 'Life': An Interview with Director Oliver Schmitz

Life, Above All director Oliver Schmitz brings the best-selling novel Chanda's Secret to the big screen with a dazzling cast of African actresses. Schmitz chats with Nik Ruckert about the making of this universal South African tone poem about tolerance.

Nik Ruckert

Group Doueh: Zayna Jumma

Electrified Western Saharan jam band plays weddings, warps time.


Rikki Ililonga & Musa-O-Tunya: Dark Sunrise

Afro-psyche guitar wizard provides the most convincing case yet for the vibrancy of the 1970s Zamrock scene.


WITCH: Introduction

Something about WITCH seems to have excited record collectors outside of Zambia, but in a world where rareness, exoticism, and commodity fetishism become peculiarly intertwined, one hopes that it is more than just the rarity of the commodity that is being valued.

Richard Elliott

Various Artists: Roots of OK Jazz

The sound quality of these remastered 78s is excellent and the compilation bears eloquent witness to the development of Franco's guitar style, from brief blasts of sound to the more fluid lines that would become his signature.


Various Artists: Afro-Rock

If Afro-Rock and the numerous compilations that have followed in its wake have set a decade and its fashions in the artificial amber of retro-chic, they have also made available brilliant, adventurous music that forces us to reconsider our ideas of the evolution and revolutions of popular music.


Daby Balde: Le Marigot Club Dakar

Balde's album may be too local a pleasure for the tastes of many world music fans. But for those who found Baaba Maal's latest a little too globetrottingly bewildering, this may be the ideal alternative.



Endgame crafts a crackling thriller out of the tangle of crafty maneuvering and happenstance that put a stop to South Africa's apartheid.


Viva Africa: An Interview with Amadou & Mariam and BLK JKS

African music, often exiled from the pop mainstream, is making a new incursion in the U.S. Darling speaks to two major African artists, plus highlights the best new releases.

Cary Darling

Global Voices: The Dictator Hunter

The titular figure in Klaartje Quirijns' fascinating documentary, The Dictator Hunter, Reed Brody pursues Hissène Habré, deposed leader of Chad.


Independent Lens: Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai

As much as she is celebrated by her constituents and the documentary, Taking Root, Wangari Maathai maintains her faith in "the people."


Seprewa Kasa: Seprewa Kasa

This album is all soothe and salve, looking back to the heyday of highlife.


Various: Black Stars

Black Stars is an adeptly compiled hiplife snapshot, giving us a sampling of recent arrivals like Tic Tac, as well as godfather figures such as Reggie Rockstone.


Steve Reid Ensemble: Daxaar

The Steve Reid Ensemble has taken a geographic and sonic trip to make Daxaar.


The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur by Daoud Hari

A strict focus on the personal makes Hari's account of the hell that Darfur has become something more than just an exercise in despair.

Chris McCann

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